AMERICA’S GOT CHOMSKY
Clad in baggy clothes with gaudy jewellery draped around her neck, 8 year old Tanya, otherwise known as Little T, walked onto the stage and was met with a muted applause from the crowd. After the usual questions from the judges she started rapping, a song she had written all about homework and how much it sucks. Rhymes emanated from her mouth at an incredible rate as the atmosphere in the auditorium became one of frenzied appreciation. Mel B looked on in positive disbelief while Howie Mandel remained composed, a wry smile the only give away that he was enjoying it. Heidi Klum scrunched her face to signify that she found this act adorable but it was Noam Chomsky, Howard Stern’s replacement for this season, who was the most excited. He stood up in his chair, danced along to the music and when it was time for the comments he didn’t hold back in his enthusiasm.
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmnnnnn gurl,” he began, you certainly brought your Mojo tonight. That was PHAT with a capital P capital H sista!!!!” Everyone cheered like crazy.
Chomsky’s family however, who were backstage in the green room, remained silent as they watched with concern, desperately hoping this was just a phase he was going through.
Robert, Carl, Marcus and Nathan were four men who defined the word friendship. The bond between them had never diminished, having remained in tact from when they were pre-pubescent tykes through to spotty, awkward adolescents and all the way up to men in their early thirties who are somewhat depressed that middle age is looming. When Nathan broke the news that him and his long term girlfriend, Gwen, had gotten engaged, the scene was emotional as he was going to be the first of the group to get married. What made the moment even more poignant was that Nathan had decided that all three of them should be his best man.
A few months before the wedding they travelled to Las Vegas for the stag party with no expense spared. On the very first night, after a day of drinking, gambling and strip clubs, they retired to Marcus’ hotel room for a nightcap.
“I know I’m pissed, but fuck it I’m just gonna say it, I love you guys,” Robert slurred as he sat on the floor against the bed, a glass of JD and coke in his hand.
“I think someone’s had a bit too much to drink but we love you too man,” said Nathan.
“Ya know I was thinking today, how similar we are to the characters in The Hangover,” said Marcus. “There’s four of us, we’re in Vegas and let’s face it we’re just as mental.”
“That’s for sure” said Nathan.
“Which one do you think you are?” Marcus asked him.
“Well I am getting married so I suppose if we’re going by the first film that would make me Doug, but I think my personality is more like the Ed Helms character, Stu. He’s a dentist, I’m an optician and we’re both kinda geeky.”
“No arguments from us there,” Robert teased.
“Shut up you” Nathan said as he flicked some foam from his beer in Robert’s direction before turning towards Carl who had thus far remained quiet for the duration of this discussion.
“What about you? Which one do you think you are?”
Carl sighed, knocked back the rest of his drink and gazed up at his three friends.
“Which one am I?” Carl said, “I think I’m the character who’s fed up. Fed up of people going on and on and on about a film that was average at best, that then went on to be a piss poor, cynical, money making franchise. He’s fed up with people calling it one of the best comedies of all time. The character I am, wants nothing more than to kidnap anyone who holds that opinion, keep them prisoner for a whole month and show them countless films that are far funnier and believe me there are thousands of them and no that’s not just a matter of fucking opinion, that’s a fact. He’s also fed up of stag parties with t-shirts that have ‘wolf pack’ written on them . .”
Marcus stared guiltily at his unopened luggage.
“He’s fed up with all the wedding related comedies that exist because of it, or the jock, frat boy ones that seem to be ubiquitous in the past few years since The Hangover was released. He’s fed up of people quoting lines from the film to him, having to smile and nod along and then out of politeness and social etiquette coupled with the fact that he doesn’t want to be seen as somebody who’s going against the grain just for the sake of it, he ultimately has to pretend that he loves it too. Oh yes it was genius wasn’t it? Mike Tyson singing In The Air Tonight, I know, . . . .You’re right Mike Tyson’s not a singer, he’s a boxer so he is. . . . . . .Yes that’s a very sad song he sang and Mike Tyson, he’s a big tough guy. That’s why IT WAS SO FUCKING HILARIOUS . . . . . . . .He’s fed up, so unbelievably fed up of such mediocrity being celebrated, that he ends up taking his own life. I’m that character”
As if from nowhere, Carl produced a revolver, put it to his head and pulled the trigger. Blood and bits of his brain splattered on the walls, on the hotel furniture and on the faces of his dumbfound friends. They stared at his corpse for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually Marcus broke the deafening silence in the room. Smiling and shaking his head, he turned to the others.
“I think we’ve found the Phil of the group.”
DAYS LIKE THESE (With Father Tierney)
After a busy enough afternoon hearing confessions, the last of Father Tierney’s sinful customers was a young boy of about 12.
“Bless me father for I have sinned,” said the boy nervously. “It’s been three years since my last confession.”
“That’s alright son, tell me your sins.”
“I didn’t show love when I fought with my sister and called her a bad name. I didn’t show love when I disobeyed my Mam and played my X box instead of cleaning me room. . . .and eh . . . .”
“Yes, what else?”
“I didn’t show love when I talked in class. . . . .They’re all me sins Father.”
“Okay good boy, I absolve you from your sins. For your penance I want you to say 2 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be To The Father.”
While walking home Father Tierney was reflecting on his day, hearing confessions. He stopped suddenly in his tracks realising he was after making a big mistake. Fighting with your sister, disobeying your mother and talking in class he thought, the penance for that should be 3 Our Fathers 1 Hail Mary and 2 Glory Be’s, not 2 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be To The Father which is what I gave him. All Father Tierney could do was laugh.
As soon as he got home, he rang his sister Dolores to tell her all about it and although this was technically breaking the seal of confession it was just too good an anecdote not to share, especially seeing as Dolores loved hearing stories of her younger brother making an eejit of himself.
For his dinner that night Father Tierney decided to make himself Spaghetti Bolognese. He had the sauce simmering away and the water boiling for his Spaghetti but when he opened his press he realised he was out of pasta. By the time he got back from the shop and he had sat down to his dinner, it was already 7:30 and he had missed that night’s episode of Emmerdale, probably his second favourite show after Nationwide.
After he had finished washing up Father Tierney sat down with a nice cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, ready to download some child porn but wouldn’t you know his computer was on the fritz.
“Whatever next?” he exclaimed, chuckling and looking up to the heavens. When he eventually retired to bed, he saw that he had left his bedroom window open and a noisy bluebottle had flown in.
“Buzz, buzz, buzz,” went the bluebottle as Father Tierney chased him around the room with a rolled up parish newsletter, trying to swat him dead. You see, everyone has days like these, even priests.